Conor P. McGowan, Ph.D.
Assistant Leader and Assistant Research Professor
USGS, Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences,
Auburn University
Auburn, AL 36849-5418
Ph: 334 844 9231


Research interests

My work focuses on conservation and management decision support science. I work primarily on endangered species and birds, especially shorebirds, using the tools of population and ecological modeling to predict the effects of management actions on populations of interest.

Current Projects

-          Multispecies adaptive management in Delaware Bay

-          Incidental take and endangered species recovery

-          Species Status Assessments for listing decisions in the American Southwest

-          White tailed deer and coyote management in south Alabama

-          Grassland bird habitat management in the East Gulf Coastal Plain

-          American Black Duck integrated population and habitat management

Graduate Students


Jennifer Price, PhD State wide white-tailed deer monitoring and population modeling

Kevin Ryer, MS Small mammal and herptile occupancy in eraly successional habitats

Anna Tucker, PhD Migration ecology and stopover habitat management of shorebirds

Orin Robinson, Post-doc Black Duck survival modeling and population modeling


Alyssa Butler, MS worked on Horseshoe Crab Tag loss and survival estimation

Ally Keever, MS working on deer and coyote management in southern Alabama

Emily Merritt, MS Horseshoe Crab mark-recapture based abundance estimation

Patrick Farrell, MS Grassland bird habitat associations in the East Gulf Coastal Plain

Recent Publications

Robinson, O.J., C.P. McGowan, P. Devers, et al., 2016, A full annual cycle modeling framework for American Black Ducks. Natural Resource Modeling 29, 159-174.

McGowan, C.P., J.E. Lyons, D.R. Smith. 2015. Developing objectives with multiple stakeholders: Adaptive Management of Horseshoe crabs and Red Knots in Delaware Bay. Environmental Management 55, 972-982

McGowan, C.P., 2015, Comparing Models of Red Knot population dynamics. Condor 117, 494-502

McGowan, C.P., 2013. A structured approach to incidental take decision making. Environmental Management 51:241250

McGowan, C.P., J.E. Hines, J.D. Nichols, J.E. Lyons, D.R. Smith, K. S. Kalasz, L.J. Niles, A.D. Dey, N.A. Clark, P.W. Atkinson, C.D.T. Minton, and W. Kendall. 2011. Demographic consequences of migratory stopover: linking red knot survival to horseshoe crab spawning abundance. Ecosphere 2: art 69.

McGowan, C.P., M. C. Runge, M. A. Larson, 2011. Incorporating parametric uncertainty into population viability models. Biological Conservation 144, 1400-1408. [R-Code webpage]

McGowan, C.P., M.R. Ryan, M.C. Runge, J.J. Millspaugh, J. Cochrane, 2011. The role of demographic compensation theory in incidental take assessments for endangered species. Biological Conservation, in press.


USGS Cooperative Research Units

Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

School of Forestry and Wildlife Science

Auburn University

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